May 20-26, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
RAIN. The deluge returned Sunday, just in time to wipe out most of the last day of Riverfest, which was otherwise heading toward record attendance. Willie Nelson's opening night act wasn't affected. And the fireworks exploded to end the event.
JOHN DALY. The beer guzzling bad boy Arkie of pro golf had his PGA Tour suspension lifted. Plus, he's reportedly lost 50 pounds thanks to lapband surgery.
ARKANSAS. It was one of only six states that showed a gain of jobs in April, thus bucking a national trend of rising unemployment.
It was a BAD week for …
The NORTH LITTLE ROCK HOUSING AUTHORITY. A maintenance worker was charged with raping a tenant, a deaf woman who was impregnated in the assault. It turns out he was on parole in a murder/kidnapping case in which he raped a prostitute. Not a particularly good candidate for a job that gave him a pass key to apartments.
AIRPORT PARKERS. Little Rock National Airport has decided to raise parking fees June 1. Among others, the handy meters will go to 25 cents for five minutes, rather than 15 minutes.
The UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS. The Democrat-Gazette reported that UCA continues to pay athletic employees from nonathletic departments. This has the effect of putting these expenses outside the state salary cap on sports spending.
FREE EXPRESSION. Because of complaints, Eureka Springs officials are moving to take control of a public art display that currently includes depictions of a drag queen and a breast-feeding Virgin Mary.
SPELUNKERS. Two caves in Devil's Den State Park and hundreds in the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest were closed to explorers as officials attempt to fight white-nose syndrome, a spreading fungus that is killing bats.